Title:Social Media Use Among Adolescents in Guam
TitleEtc:, Professor, Communication Program, University of Hawaii, USA
CoAuth1TitleEtc:, Associate Professor, University of Guam, Guam
CoAuth2TitleEtc:, Associate Researcher, University of Hawaii, Cancer Center, USA
Abstract:According to a recent Pew Research Center report, 95% of American teens have access to a smartphone. Given the portability of mobile connections, almost half of US teens are online on a near-constant basis.In addition, U.S. teens have overwhelmingly moved off Facebook to other social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat.There is little doubt that American adolescents and teens value smartphones and social media. Although these are important developments in teen social media use, there is surprisingly little known about the use of social media by adolescents and teens in the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI). The USAPI represents the Flag territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The USAPI also includes the Freely Associated States of Yap, Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Chuuk; the Republic of the Marshall Islands; and the Republic of Belau (ROB) (also known as Palau). Over 500,000 people live in the USAPI yet scholars have paid little attention to the use of social media, smartphones and computers in these areas.
Our research project is one of the first to examine social media and computer use among the inhabitants of Guam. More specifically, the research surveyed approximately 670 adolescents attending public schools on Guam. A paper and pencil survey was administered to select public school classrooms in the early part of 2018. Survey respondents were asked about their access and use of social media, smartphones and computers as well as demographic information. Many of these students possess varied economic and cultural backgrounds. As a USAPI territory, Guam has a diverse population consisting of Chamorros (Indigenous to the island), Filipinos and members of the Freely Associated States, among others. Scholars such as Nancy Baym have long asked that researchers examine social media access and use in more diverse social and economic settings. Our study will address this need by providing valuable insight on information and communication technology practices among USAPI youth.